This chapter presents the immense influence and impact that Islam has had on Africa and its people’s dispersion. Before reading the chapter, I think it is important to get a sense of the development of Islam, especially if you do not have a lot of familiarity with its history.

First, I’d like you to get a sense of the formative history of Islam through this video. You can also get more information if you’d like through Encyclopedia Britannica. Jot down notes that are useful to your study.

Second, I’d like you to get a sense of “Arabization” as discussed on p.33. This gif presents an interesting graphic look at this phenomenon. What do you notice?

Created by Muhammadi Adil, accessed via Wikimedia Commons

Finally, I’d like you to consider the following questions as you read (about three or four sentences per question):

  1. Gomez speaks of civilizations and Muslim lands on p.36. What are his points and in what ways does Africa contain examples of Muslim civilization and non-Muslim civilizations?
  2. How do you see Arabization and “race” factoring into your understanding of the complexities of the African diaspora
  3. Name three examples of African (continental or diasporic) Muslims and what they teach you about the African diaspora in light of Gomez’s theses from the introduction.